Tuesday, June 19, 2012

MAN-SIZED HIKE V: Lutopan to Mantayupan Falls

THERE COMES A TIME when you have to take another huge step. A very bold one. Something that hinge too much on the absurd. Too big a step for others to dream about and too mind-boggling to attempt at such a plan. Blazing a real statement in a hype-saturated outdoors community is a commodity that is rare nowadays.

For most Cebu-based people, Cebu is lacking in challenge, whatsoever, in their outdoor pursuits and would rather spend much on money and time to other places where their thirst for adventure are realized. For me, I have nowhere to go except on my own island; yet Cebu has much to offer if you know how to release your creativity and capture everyone’s imagination.

Anyways, here I am again doing my own familiar stuff on places in Cebu where only a few dared think of. I am currently embarking on my CEBU HIGHLANDS TRAIL PROJECT in full steam and doing a lot of ranging. This time, I aim to explore a route that will start from Lutopan, Toledo City and, hopefully, end this on the fourth day at Mantalongon, Dalaguete.

Supporting me is Camp Red, your only Philippine bushcraft and survival guild south of Subic Bay. I am Camp Red and so are Raymund Panganiban, Glenn Pestaño and Silver Cueva who all are coming with me. This would not be possible without a good guide who is very familiar with my chosen route and I found one in the person of Antonio Vergara, who offered his services at my bidding.

I will dissect the whole activity in journal fashion for easy reading and understanding:

DAY 1 – March 22, 2012

  • Leave the Cebu South Bus Terminal at 5:00 AM.
  • Arrive at Lutopan, Toledo City at 6:30 AM.
  • Leave Bunga, Toledo City at 7:00 AM. Weather: mild.
  • Arrive at Lamac, Pinamungahan at 9:00 AM after a 13-kilometer walk. Take a 30-minute rest at the Hidden Valley Mountain Resort. Glenn’s foot suffer from blisters caused by an ill-fitting “desert storm” boots which have not been broken in for long walks. As expedition leader, these pair of unwanted heavy shoes pass on to mine as added cargo that would eventually put a strain on my shoulders and the whole journey.
  • Stop at Sibago, Pinamungahahan at 11:00 AM after an 8-kilometer hike to prepare lunch. Food prepared are dried anchovies fried in oil with brown sugar, heated pork and beans and milled corn. I am the only one carrying a 250-gram butane gas tank and, instantly, I am the official cook. Lunch at 11:30 AM.
  • Leave Sibago at 12:30 noon. Weather: very hot.
  • Arrive at the boundary of Pinamungahan and San Fernando at 1:30 PM. Stop for cold refreshment for 30 minutes.
  • Leave boundary road at 2:00 PM and follow an old “carabao highway”. I begin to feel a tell-tale sign of a rash in one of my inner legs. Backpack with unwanted cargo is heavy causing me disorientation and a scowl is etched in my forehead.
  • Stop at Anislag, San Fernando at 3:00 PM for refreshment of green coconuts.
  • Arrive at Tubod, San Fernando at 4:00 PM after a 7-kilometer hike. Make courtesy call to village head. Pitch tents and prepare supper. Food prepared are heated tuna flakes, mung bean soup, pork adobo and milled corn. Dinner at 6:30 PM. Heavy rainshowers at 8:00 PM force me, Raymund and Glenn to evacuate to a nearby chapel. Conversation with village folks over coffee. Rain stops at 10:30 AM. Taps at 11:00 AM.

DAY 2 – March 23, 2012

  • Wake-up at 4:30 AM. Coffee at 5:00 AM. Start to break camp at 5:30 AM. Prepare food for breakfast at 6:00 AM. Food prepared are last night’s left-over food of mung beans and pork adobo with milled corn. Breakfast at 7:00 AM. Glenn skipped breakfast for want of bread.
  • Leave Tubod, San Fernando at 7:30 AM. Weather: mild.
  • Stop at Mamaypay, San Fernando at 8:15 AM. Take a 15-minute break so Glenn could buy bread from a small store and eat a quick cold breakfast. Proceed journey at 8:30 AM.
  • Stop at Balungag, Carcar for water at 9:00 AM. Reposition Glenn’s heavy boots on my Habagat Venado backpack for better balance. Blister on my inner thigh opens up while two other spots begins to get sore. Pass by watershed forest of Can-asuhan. Weather: very hot.
  • Stop at Sacsac, Carcar at 9:30 AM for cold refreshment. Leave at 10:00 AM.
  • Stop at Buenavista, Carcar at 11:00 AM after a 10-kilometer hike to prepare for lunch. Food prepared are scrambled eggs, heated braised pork mixed with beans and milled corn. Lunch at 11:30 AM. Glenn insists to eat meal at 12:00 noon but is overruled.
  • Leave Buenavista at 12:30 noon.
  • Stop at Valencia at 1:45 PM for rest. Leave at 2:15 PM. Weather: extremely hot.
  • Stop at Tapal, Carcar at 2:30 PM for cold refreshment. Leave after 15 minutes.
  • Arrive National Road at Guadalupe, Carcar at 3:30 PM. Cross boundary between Carcar and Barili. Arrive Mantalongon Livestock Market, Barili at 4:00 PM after a 12-kilometer walk. Make a courtesy call to market administrator who offered free use of sleeping spaces and access to public toilet. Change of diet by eating in small restaurants for supper. Ring our sleeping area with mosquito coils. Taps at 8:30 PM.

DAY 3 – March 24, 2012

  • Wake up at 2:30 AM to take an early morning bath and wash my bicycle shorts free of microscopic salt crystals which caused me rashes. Start a small fire on a mound of rubbish to help ward off mosquitoes. Go back to sleep at 3:30 AM. Wake up again at 5:30 AM.
  • Eat breakfast in a small restaurant at 6:30 AM.
  • Leave Mantalongon at 7:30 AM. Weather: hot.
  • Pass by Bravo Company Headquarters of the 78th Infantry Battalion to make a courtesy call. Leave after 15 minutes. Climb the hills above Mantalungon.
  • Stop at a house of Antonio’s long-lost friend at 8:15 AM. A happy reunion after 42 years. Leave at 8:30 AM. Weather: very hot.
  • Stop at Hunob, Carcar at 9:00 AM for cold refreshment and beer as electrolyte substitute. Leave at 9:30 AM. Forage green papaya for food. Rainshowers at 9:45 AM in a route that intrude into Sibonga. Rain stops at 10:30 AM. Weather: mild.
  • Stop at Lamac, Barili at 11:30 AM for cold refreshments after a 20-kilometer hike. Leave at 12:00 noon.
  • Stop at Mayana, Barili at 1:45 PM to prepare lunch after a 4-kilometer hike. Food prepared are heated adobo mixed with beans, noodle soup and milled corn. Donated part of of our stash of food to a kind family who offered their firewood and hearth for our cooking. Eat late lunch at 2:30 PM. Siesta. Leave at 3:00 PM.
  • Arrive at Mantayupan Falls, Barili at 4:00 PM after a 3-kilometer hike. Douse thirst with bottles of cold beer while singing with a videoke machine at the resort. Prepare supper at 6:00 PM. Food prepared were heated braised pork and milled corn. Dinner at 6:30 PM. Glenn refused to eat dinner for want of chicken soup and insist to rent a cottage. I pay my share of the cottage but refuse to sleep indoors so the rest can share sleeping space inside the small room. Taps at 8:00 PM.

DAY 4 – March 25, 2012

  • Wake up at 5:30 AM. Leave Mantayupan Falls at 8:00 AM.
  • Arrive Shamrock Restaurant, Barili at 8:30 AM. Breakfast at 9:00 AM.
  • Leave Barili at 10:15 AM.
  • Arrive Cebu South Bus Terminal at 11:30 AM.

The original objective of climbing Osmeña Peak before reaching Mantalongon, Dalaguete on the fourth day have not been realized by factors brought on by mistake in team selection, heavy-loaded backpacks, a disappointing footwear, slow strides, skin sores, fatigue, planning error and unknown routes. The route was aborted instead due to the seemingly impossible distance going to Mantalongon from Mayana.


  • Expedition team elements should be physically and mentally fit and should not crack under pressure.
  • Light backpacking is encouraged. Exclude unnecessary gears and other items.
  • Equipment should be tested beforehand to prevent unsatisfactory results that would undermine the pace and outcome of expedition.
  • Canned goods are discouraged.
  • Everyone should eat the same food.
  • Everyone should equally share and contribute manual labor.
  • Composition of the present expedition team will undergo changes for the next scheduled segment.
  • Expedition leader has the final say on who will come, what to bring or wear, what to eat and when to rest.


rose ivy said...

Nice sharing,this is really informative,nice history. Really impressive.Thanks
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Tankstar Rainwater Storage Solutions said...

In a place like this, we need to work with the water system that gives abundant water usage to people.

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